Cool Spring Preserve (1469 Lloyd Road, Jefferson County, WV)

The main building at the  Cool Springs Preserve

The main building at the Cool Spring Preserve

And a colorful building that I assume is used for storage

And a colorful building that I assume is used for storage

I first heard of Cool Spring Preserve a couple of months ago, and I’ve been looking forward to taking the short trip down Routes 9 and 340 ever since.  This relatively new addition to the local natural sites operated by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society contains approximately 1.25 miles of hiking trails and a rare wetland that makes it a must see for local wildlife enthusiasts.

A map of the preserve.   I didn't even get lost.  Wow!

A map of the preserve. I didn’t even get lost. Wow!

Marshland and Bullskin Run

Marshland and Bullskin Run

Only 100 known acres of Shenandoah Wet Prairie Marl Marsh exist worldwide, and Cool Spring contains the only tract of this wetland located in West Virginia.  This marshy area located along Bullskin Run contains 18 rare plant species, and it is known locally as a birding hotspot.

More stream and marshland, the rare Shenandoah Wet Prairie Marl Marsh

More stream and marshland, the rare Shenandoah Wet Prairie Marl Marsh

I like totally dig this cosmic trail sign, dude!

I like totally dig this cosmic trail sign, dude!

The hiking trails include the Studio Loop, Meadow Loop, and Rock Break Trail.  The paths are very well-maintained, and the slightly rolling countryside is easy for hikers of all ages and skill levels.  We walked all of the trails and registered less than 50′ of elevation gain.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  Also, there are colorful, artsy trail signs and bird feeders, and the kiosk and map provide all of the information you’ll need to get started.

Pileated woofpecker  birdhouse

Pileated woofpecker birdhouse

Typical, well-groomed stretch of trail

Typical, well-groomed stretch of trail

In the future, this site’s main building will serve as the headquarters of the PVAS, and with that, there should be numerous birdwatching opportunities for novices (like me!).  Cool Spring is a great place to spend a couple of hours, and I’m already anticipating my next visit!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for the wonderful write up! We are happy that you enjoyed the preserve and have encouraged others to check it out! PVAS has a lot of monthly programs throughout Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan and Washington counties! More information can be found at http://www.potomacaudubon.org

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on December 18, 2016 at 3:40 am

      Thanks for the comment! I’ve been to Yankauer several time and also enjoyed Stauffer’s Marsh. I am looking forward to checking out Eidolon soon. The Saw Whet owl banding that your organization sponsored was also a very enjoyable evening. Thanks for the link. The PVAS calendar is loaded with a lot of great activities. Anyone interested in our local plant and animal life should go on a PVAS outing.

      Reply

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